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Battle for Luthien

First Blood
   How I survived that day is still a mystery.
   I was assigned as a crewman to the point Skulker tank, poised just ahead of the advance force of Clan Smoke Jaguar. Sho-sa Yodama was our forward observer, mostly because of his experience with battling the Clans on Turtle Bay. Our task was to visually observe the approach of the Smoke Jaguar forces, then pull back and report the units and composition to our rear outpost. We felt no fear, so great was the honor of standing between Unity Palace and the menace of an almost unbeatable invader.

Almost immediately visual sightings detected the approach of their Elementals, who had somehow avoided our sensors. Within minutes we were facing two of their Points, almost ten of these Toad Warriors. They did not hesitate to attack the Skulker, though I was able to get off a radio message before the storm of battle broke. Despite some fast driving and dodging by our driver, one of them actually made it into the Skulker's hull. When I tried to get to the front of the tank, we either crashed or took a fatal hit. Seeing Yodama was gone, I feared he had perished in the crash.

We were stranded on the Tairakana Plains, our vehicle a burning wreck and the Elementals closing in on us. My partner, Gensi Yish, and I made our way to a small hill, where we waited as the enemy closed in. When Gensi raised his gyrojet rifle and I pulled out my laser pistol, the Elementals did not falter. They merely kept walking toward us, seeming fearless. Gensi and I both fired at the lead Elemental. He staggered at Gensi's shot, and mine cut through his face plate. The giant Toad warrior stood motionless for a moment, then swayed like a felled tree. When one of the others fired at us, I rolled, firing back madly. Shot after shot hit. He turned away from my compatriot and fired at me, but was unable to make a hit. After taking four direct hits himself, he finally fell.

Looking back up the hillside, I saw only the smoldering remains of Gensi. Then I heard the rumble of an approaching BattleMech, accompanied by a bright flash. The next thing I knew was waking up a week later in our field hospital. Two weeks after that I returned to the hilltop where Gensi died. I laid down a stone to honor the place of his death, for he died like a true warrior.

Luthien, Tairakana Plains, 5 January 3052
One of the most climactic battles waged during the Clan invasion as the attack on Luthien. The Smoke Jaguars, a long-time Crusader action in the Clans, had suffered a humiliating defeat on Wolcott during the first wave of the invasion in a year before. The loss of pride and prestige at the hands of an enemy the Jaguars considered inferior was humbling.

To regain their honor, the Smoke Jaguars came to Khan Alexander Hammond of Clan Nova Cat with a plan to attack the capital of the Draconis Combine when the invasion began anew. A victory over an Inner Sphere capital world would prove that the Smoke Jaguar loss on Wolcott was merely a fluke. The invasion of Luthien was, at the time, the largest military operation undertaken in the Inner Sphere in more than 250 years. In a surprise move, the Federated Commonwealth sent two of its elite mercenary units, the Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons, to bolster the defense of the Combine capital. Meanwhile, Theodore Kurita called home his best warriors and most select regiments to aid in the defense of Luthien.

The Smoke Jaguards and Nova Cats landed at the far end of the Tairakana Plains just outside of the Imperial city. Per their agreement, the Jaguards would lead the attack, with the Nova Cats providing flank support. Sho-sa Shin Yodama was assigned to lead a reconnoiter of the advancing Clan Smoke Jaguar forces, but two lead Points of the Smoke Jaguar Delta Galaxy Elementals ambushed and destroyed the Skulker tank in which he rode. Shin Yodama escaped and eventually made his way to an observation post to reveal the enemy strength and position. His crew also survived the initial destruction of the Skulker, and managed to inflict their own damage on the Elementals.

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